Our car expenses are nuts this month – it looks as if we have a car payment when I look at Microsoft Money! We paid our car insurance for the rest of the year this month, and we had to pay our annual registration fee for both cars this month. Both of them needed emissions testing (required every two years here) which costs $25 per car. Ouch. At least our cars are older, so the registration is pretty cheap (about $26 each).
Yesterday we took one of our cars to my parents’ house so my dad could look at it, since we had noticed a minor oil leak. He traced it to the rocker cover gasket, and showed us what would be involved with reparing it (taking out half the engine). Since the leak is very small (our oil level hasn’t gone down at all in the last month since we noticed the problem), we decided to just put a little piece of cardboard under the car in the garage and call it good. We changed the oil while we were at it, and went with synthetic oil. We debated that one for a while… synthetic is more expensive, although we found some on sale for under $5/qt. But you don’ t change it as often, which means that there’s less waste oil to deal with (better for the environment) and the cost probably balances out too.
We took my mom’s car to a nearby town to buy the oil and filter, since ours was up on ramps with parts taken out of it when we decided to do the oil change. Since we borrowed her car, we put gas in it – about $20 to fill it up. The oil and filter cost us $32, so our day came in at $52, plus the gas we put in our own car when we got home last night. Overall, we got a good deal. We got an oil change with synthetic oil (not cheap at service stations) and we got to hang out with my parents for the day.